Security Operations Center (SOC)

The security operations center (SOC) is responsible for monitoring, preventing, detecting, investigating, and responding to cyber-attacks around the clock. SOC teams are responsible for monitoring and safeguarding the organization's assets, which include intellectual property, people data, business processes, and brand integrity.

The SOC team executes the organization's cybersecurity strategy and serves as the focal point for coordinated efforts to monitor, evaluate, and defend against cyberattacks.

What Do Soc Team Members Do?

The SOC team members are responsible for various activities, including proactive monitoring, incident response, and recovery, remediation, compliance, coordination, and context. 

Let's take a closer look at each of these tasks. 

Proactive Monitoring

This includes log file analysis. Logs can be obtained from endpoints (notebook computers, mobile phones, IoT devices, etc.) or from network resources such as routers, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems "IDS".

Applications And Email Appliances.

Another term for proactive monitoring is threat monitoring. The SOC team members work with various resources, including other IT staff (such as help desk technicians), artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and log files. 

Incident Response and Recovery

The SOC will take the necessary mitigation measures, communicate appropriately, and coordinate the organization's ability to keep the organization up and running after an incident. It's not enough to just view the logs and issue alerts. An important part of incident response is helping organizations recover from an incident. For example, this recovery may include activities such as dealing with acute malware or ransomware incidents. 

Repair Activity

Members of the SOC team provide data-driven analysis to help organizations repair vulnerabilities and customize security monitoring and alerting tools. For example, using information from log files and other sources, SOC members can recommend better network segmentation strategies or better system patch programs. Improving existing cybersecurity is one of the significant SOC tasks. 

Compliance

Organizations ensure compliance with security policies and external security standards such as ISO 27001x, NIST Cyber ​​Security Framework (CSF), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Organizations need SOCs to ensure compliance with key security standards and best practices.  

Coordination and Context

Most importantly, helping SOC team members coordinate various elements and services to provide useful, visualized information. Part of this coordination is the ability to provide a useful set of stories to help with networking activities. These explanations help shape your organization's cyber security policy and attitude towards the future.

Members of the SOC team help organizations identify the root cause of cyberattacks. If a SOC analyst does this, a root cause analysis should be done. In short, SOC analysts serve to know exactly when, how, and why the attack was successful. 

For this purpose, SOC analysts review evidence of attacks. Such evidence is called an indicator of attack. If the attack is successful, SOC analysts look for evidence of the intrusion, enable the organization to respond appropriately, and make changes to prevent similar attacks in the future.

Monitoring, Detection, And Response 

24/7 continuous security monitoring. SOC monitors your entire enhanced IT infrastructure (applications, servers, system software, computing devices, cloud workloads, networks) 24/7 for signs of known abuse or suspicious activity. .. 

For many SOCs, the core monitoring, detection, and response technology was Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). SIEM monitors and aggregates alerts and telemetry from software and hardware on the network in real-time and analyses the data to identify potential threats.

Some SOCs also employ enhanced detection and response (XDR) technology. It provides more detailed telemetry and monitoring and the ability to automate incident detection and response. 

Log Management

Log management (collection and analysis of log data generated by all network events) is a subset of monitoring that deserves its own paragraph. Most IT departments collect log data, which is an analysis that determines normal or basic activity and reveals anomalies that indicate suspicious activity.

In fact, many hackers rely on companies that don't constantly analyze log data, which could allow viruses and malware to run undetected on the victim's system for weeks or months. I have. Most SIEM solutions include log management capabilities. 

Threat Detection

The SOC team categorizes signals from noise, indicators of real cyber threats, and hacker exploits from false positives and prioritizes threats by severity. Modern SIEM solutions incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) that automates these processes and "learns" from the data to better detect suspicious activity over time. 

Incident Response

In response to threats or real incidents, SOCs work to limit the damage. Actions can include:•

Root cause investigation to identify technical flaws that allowed hackers access to the system and other issues (such as poor password hygiene or lax policy enforcement) that led to the event.

  • Disconnecting or shutting down infected endpoints from the network
  • Isolating vulnerable network locations or rerouting network traffic
  • Pausing or terminating infected apps or processes
  • Erasing corrupted or contaminated files
  • Making use of antivirus or anti-malware software
  • Decommissioning internal and external user credentials

Many XDR technologies enable SOCs to automate and speed incident responses.

Recovery, Refinement, And Conformity

Recuperation and restoration. Once an incident is handled, the SOC eliminates the danger and tries to restore the impacted assets to their pre-incident state (e.g. wiping, restoring, and reconnecting disks, end-user devices, and other endpoints; restoring network traffic; restarting applications and processes). 

Recovery after a data breach or ransomware attack may also include switching to backup systems and changing passwords and authentication credentials.

Refinement and Post-mortem

To avoid a repeat, the SOC leverages any new information gleaned from the incident to better address vulnerabilities, change procedures and policies, choose new cybersecurity technologies, or alter the incident response plan. At a higher level, the SOC team may attempt to evaluate whether the event exposes a new or developing cybersecurity pattern for which the team must prepare.

Management of Compliance

It is the SOC's responsibility to ensure that all applications, systems, security tools, and processes comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR (Global Data Protection Regulation), CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Following an incident, the SOC makes sure that users, regulators, law enforcement, and other parties are notified in accordance with regulations and that the required incident data is retained for evidence and auditing.

Members Of The Security Operations Center (Soc)

The following are the primary duties of a SOC team:

  • The SOC manager, who controls all security operations and reports to the organization's CISO, leads the team (chief information security officer).
  • Security engineers create and maintain the organization's security architecture. A large portion of this activity entails assessing, testing, recommending, deploying, and maintaining security techniques and technology. Security engineers also collaborate with development or DevOps/DevSecOps teams to ensure that the organization's security architecture is included in application development cycles.
  • Security analysts, sometimes known as security investigators or incident responders, are the first to respond to cybersecurity threats or occurrences.
  • Analysts detect, assess, and triage (prioritize) threats before identifying the impacted hosts, endpoints, and users and taking the necessary measures to mitigate and manage the threat or event. (In some companies, investigators and incident responders are classed separately as Tier 1 and Tier 2 analysts.)
  • Threat hunters (known as specialist security analysts) specialize in finding and mitigating advanced threats - novel attacks or threat variations that elude automated defenses.

Depending on the firm's size and the industry in which it operates, the SOC team may comprise different professionals. Larger organizations may have a Director of Incident Response who communicates and directs the incident response. In addition, some SOCs include forensic investigators that specialise in data recovery.